Are Lawn Mower Blades High Carbon Steel?

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Lawn mower blades are designed to be efficient grass cutters. Modern mower blades are made of steel, but which type is the best? One of the most popular is high carbon steel, but is that the right one for your lawn mower? And should your mower even use it? In this article I will explain why a lot of lawn mowers use carbon.

Modern lawn mower blades are built from high carbon steel, providing the flexibility needed to mow grass. At the same time, high carbon steel makes the blade flexible so it does not break when it hits rocks or other solid hard objects.

The Benefits of High Carbon Lawn Mower Blades

A hard blade is not enough for mowing. It must be durable but also versatile enough to handle the various objects a blade will face. There are other types of steel used to make lawn mower blades. But high carbon is ideal for many reasons.

High carbon steel blades do not break easily. When you mow the lawn, the blade goes through grass, rocks, slopes, flat areas etc. High carbon provides blades with tensile strength so it won’t break.

Blades made with high carbon can withstand tree stumps, branches, plastics and other hard objects it might run into. Without carbon, the blade will chip or break into pieces. Worse, the blade might come loose and fly off, which is dangerous.

Carbon blades also provide greater precision. This is important if you want clean cuts for grass and weeds. If you have a high quality lawn mower such as the EGO Power+ LM2101 with carbon blades, you will get more work done faster.

These are just some of the benefits of high carbon steel. Not only is it good for cutting, but manufacturing cost has dropped. This is why a lot of brands use carbon steel blades now, which is good for consumers.

How Long Does High Carbon Steel Blade Last?

Most lawn mower blades are good for 100-200 hours of use. A high quality blade may last twice as long. The design quality, maintenance, and how you use the blade affects its longevity.

When a lawn mower blade gets dull, you can sharpen it. The most obvious sign is the blade isn’t cutting the grass like it used to. Other signs are your lawn turns brownish yellow after being mowed. Dull blades also pull the grass out instead of cutting, which makes a mess.

The lifespan of a lawn mower blade is subject to many factors. If you see a blade advertised as good for 200 hours, it assumes normal usage.

If you have a large lawn and mow daily, the blade will wear out faster. If you have a small lawn and mow occasionally, the blade is going to last longer.

Can You Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades?

Yes, but only a few times. At some point you have to replace the blade. Even high carbon steel blades don’t last forever.

This video shows you how to sharpen a lawn mower blade. The steps are the same regardless what type the blade is.

Step 1

Wear safety goggles and gloves. The gloves should be thick enough to protect your hands but still let you hold the blade well.

Step 2

Turn the lawn mower off. Turn the mower over. Look for the bolt that secures the blade. This should be below the deck.

Use a wrench to remove the bolt. Check your owner’s manual to find out what size to use. Once the bolt is loose, you can put lift the blade out. Make sure you wearing your gloves and goggles. Hold the blade so the pointy edge is away from you.

Step 3

Use a Sharpal Blade Sharpener to sharpen the blade. It only takes a few strokes until the blade is sharp. You can use this sharpener to hone knives and other cutting tools. After sharpening, you can put some oil on the blade to keep grass from sticking to the blade.

Step 4

Put the bolt back on and tighten it. Flip the lawn mower over. Turn it on and try the new blade.

Lawn Mower Blade Maintenance Guide

A high carbon blade and the right battery go far in making a lawn mower last. With proper maintenance, your blade will last even longer.

Quality. Not all lawn mower blades are made equal. A reputable brand will put out a better, long lasting blade that others. Just like when buying any product, you should always go for quality.

Check the spark plugs regularly. A lot of lawn mower problems start with a faulty spark plug. If not taken care of, it could spread throughout and affect the blade.

Sharpen the blade. If the blade doesn’t cut like before, it probably needs sharpening. Based on my experience, sharpening lawn mower blades regularly makes a huge difference in terms of performance.

Store the lawnmower properly. I cannot stress this enough. When not in use, keep your lawn mower in the garage. If you are going to leave it outside, put a tarp over it.

Without protection, lawn mowers will succumb to rust and corrosion. Blades are especially vulnerable. Rusty blades are difficult to repair and if the rest of the lawn mower is corroded, you are looking at some expensive repair work.

Make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight. Signs of loose bolts are vibration and shaking. This can be dangerous if the bolt holding the blade comes off. The blade could suddenly off in any direction. This is why you should always wear safety gear.

Other Types of Lawn Mower Blades

Aside from high carbon, other materials are used to make lawn mower blades. Manufacturers may use different types of metal, though the following are the most common.

High Carbon. High carbon blades are durable and cost effective to make. High carbon steel blades are hard but flexible enough to withstand hitting hard objects while mowing. A blade is classified as high carbon if there is more than .55% carbon in it.

Stainless steel. Stainless steel is one of the more popular ones because it is rust resistant and durable. Their anti-corrosion and anti-oxidation elements make them suitable for mowing. It is a versatile material that works with different types of lawn mowers.

Mild Steel. Also known as low carbon, this material is also popular due to its low cost. It is not as durable as high carbon but is still usable. A lot of replacement lawn mower blades for instance, are made of mild steel.

Boron. These lawn mower blades are made of boron and steel. This combination provides maximum durability, minimal brittleness and optimum strength. These are the highest quality blades you can put on a lawn mower, and is also the most expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use high carbon blade on my lawn mower?

The simplest way to find out is to check your owner’s manual. There you will find information on what type of blade is used and what materials it is compatible with.

When should I replace a high carbon blade?

At the very least, replace the blade every 12 months. It also depends on how often you mow, how tall and thick the grass is etc. More frequent mowing will require more frequent replacement.

One way to put off replacements is to sharpen the blade regularly. Sharpening every 25 hours is going to keep the blade in good condition. When it is no longer cutting the way it used to, a replacement is needed.

Can I use any type of blade on my lawn mower

No. The blade used by a push lawn mower is different from that of a rider mower. And two push lawn mowers may require different blades. You have to check the manual to find the specific type, length and material compatible with the lawn mower.